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Hormonal influences on physical exercise

The overall aim of this project is to study the effect of oral contraceptives on postural control, muscle strength and premenstrual symptoms (PMS) in moderately physically active women of fertile age.

Oral contraceptives are used to similar extent by athletes as by a nonathletic population. Still, there is lack of studies investigating the effect of oral contraceptives on physical performance and on the effect of PMS symptoms. Earlier studies have showed oral contraceptives to be protective for sports injuries but the mechanism for this is still not fully elucidated. Possible explanations could be hormonal influence on muscles, tendons and ligaments.

A further aim of this project is to study mRNA and protein levels of sex hormone receptors in skeletal muscle tissue of women during three different phases of the menstrual cycle. Expression of estrogen receptors in human skeletal muscles on both mRNA and protein levels have recently been described. However, levels of sex hormone receptors in skeletal muscle during the menstrual cycle have not earlier been studied.

The project is a collaboration between The Division of Physiotherapy (Associate professor Cecilia Fridén), the Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Professor Angelica Lindén- Hirschberg), Karolinska Institutet and the Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Professor Torbjörn Bäckström), Umeå University Hospital.

The project is financed by Swedish National Centre for Research in Sports and the Swedish Research Council

Principal investigator: Cecilia Fridén